[ en-kur-ij, -kuhr- ]
See synonyms for: encourageencouragedencouragesencouraging on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),en·cour·aged, en·cour·ag·ing.
  1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: His coach encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep on running.

  2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: One of the chief duties of a teacher is to encourage students.

  1. to promote, advance, or foster: Poverty often encourages crime.

Origin of encourage

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English encoragen, from Anglo-French, Middle French encorag(i)er; see en-1, courage

Other words for encourage

Opposites for encourage

Other words from encourage

  • en·cour·ag·er, noun
  • en·cour·ag·ing·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·en·cour·age, verb (used with object), o·ver·en·cour·aged, o·ver·en·cour·ag·ing.
  • pre·en·cour·age, verb (used with object), pre·en·cour·aged, pre·en·cour·ag·ing.
  • re·en·cour·age, verb (used with object), re·en·cour·aged, re·en·cour·ag·ing.
  • un·en·cour·aged, adjective
  • un·en·cour·ag·ing, adjective
  • well-en·cour·aged, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use encourage in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for encourage


/ (ɪnˈkʌrɪdʒ) /

  1. to inspire (someone) with the courage or confidence (to do something)

  2. to stimulate (something or someone to do something) by approval or help; support

Derived forms of encourage

  • encouragement, noun
  • encourager, noun
  • encouraging, adjective
  • encouragingly, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012